As we watched our son walk across the stage at graduation recently, I was thinking about all the milestones we have throughout our lives.
There is the first one, which, of course is being born. Most people are excited and surrounded by family and friends to welcome you into the world.
During that first year, there is the sleeping through the night, rolling over, sitting up by yourself, crawling, teething, and holding your own bottle. For some that first year includes walking and talking.
We then crossover into our first day of school, writing our names, reading, and kindergarten graduation. For some, this is also the first time being away from home and our families. That first day can be traumatic, or one of glee, depending on how large and loud your family might be. It could also be your savior depending on your home life.
During those elementary years are also other milestones like learning to ride a bike, maybe your first overnight stay at a friends house, or going hunting. Many of these milestones during this time can be largely attributed to the socio-economic status of your family. In many ways, the milestones during all of our lives can depend a lot on the status of our family in society.
Next we transition to middle school and that awkward stage of puberty. Nothing more needs to be said on that subject.
Off to high school comes next. This is a time of actual first dates, learning to drive, and possibly heartbreak. All of it, and all that came before, leading up to graduation and turning 18. All of it leads up to, in some ways, the biggest milestone of all, leaving home and striking out on your own.
At 18 you get to register for the draft, register to vote, and make all of your decisions without your parents really being able to say you can’t (unless you are still living with your parents, then all bets are off).
Adult milestones can be few and far between. Maybe graduating from college, getting married, having a kid or five, grandchildren, and buying a home.
All of it leading up to retirement, and eventually death.
As I sat at the ceremony, being proud of my son’s accomplishment, the memories of my graduation and the many milestones that followed, ran through my mind. Not all of the milestones have had happy memories attached to them, but they have all lead me to where I am today. I am pretty content with my personal life, my milestones, and my accomplishments.
I’m so looking forward to my next major milestone of retirement, which will be here before too long, thankfully. The final milestone, of my being a part of the time space continuum, will also eventually come to an end, but not for another hundred years or so if I can help it. My hope is that when it does come, I can say I lived life to the best of my ability, to the fullest of my ability, that I have no regrets, and most importantly to me, that at some level, I had a positive impact and influence on one or two people, and their lives were all the better because of it.
I hope we all can say the same at the of our life’s journey.